Question: Do I Have A Sleep Disorder?
You may have a sleep disorder if you have trouble following asleep night after night -- or you may not have a sleep disorder at all. It is a bit confusing to most people. A bad night of sleep doesn't mean a sleep disorder, but millions of people have a sleep disorder that drastically impacts their lives. How can you tell the difference?
The first step in figuring out if you have a sleep disorder is asking a pretty simple question: Does your sleep quality impact your life? If you find that you are falling asleep during the day, are overwhelmingly tired or are completely exhausted, then you should be checked for a sleep disorder. Remember, sleep
is essential for health.
How to Recognize a Sleep Disorder
A sleep disorder is typically first recognized through being too tired throughout the day. If your sleep quality is interfering with your quality of life, then a sleep disorder may be present. That's not to say every one with a sleep disorder is aware of having one, but examining the level of your energy throughout the day is one of the best signs of a problem.
Other Signs of a Sleep Disorder
Apart from fatigue and feeling tired all day, a sleep disorder may be recognized from snoring
(see sleep apnea
), strange behaviors like sleep walking, inability to fall asleep (see insomnia
) or nightmares. Basically, anything that interferes with your sleep for more than two weeks may be a sign of a sleep disorder.
Two Weeks for a Sleep Disorder
We all have bad nights, even bad weeks of sleep. If your insomnia or poor sleep quality lasts longer than two weeks, though, it may be time to talk to a doctor (see find a sleep doctor
). A doctor can perform an array of tests (called sleep studies) to help identify the problem.
Give Sleep Habits a Try
Before those two weeks are up or even while your doctor is trying to figure out if you have a sleep disorder, do everything possible to make your sleep habits great (see top sleep habits
). These simple changes in your routine may fix (or at least improve) the problem and your sleep disorder may not need to be treated.
Finally, if you are diagnosed with a sleep disorder, get treatment. A variety of treatments are available. Use the treatment to get your sleep back on track and then work with your doctor to make changes (such as losing weight in the case of sleep apnea) that may help you wean yourself off the sleep disorder treatment.